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West Virginia spotlight |

West Virginia spotlight

| Sunday, October 16, 2005 12:00 a.m

Biggest surprise: Louisville’s Michael Bush stunned the West Virginia punt-coverage team and ran 21 yards for a first down on a fourth-and-4 situation on the fourth play of the game from his own 26-yard line. The gamble took everyone, including the West Virginia coaches, by surprise.

Best run: Mountaineers’ freshman tailback Steve Slaton ran through two tackles and dove into the end zone at the end of a 23-yard run on West Virginia’s second drive in overtime.

Best pass: Louisville quarterback Brian Brohm threaded the ball through triple coverage and hit wide receiver Joshua Tinch for an 18-yard touchdown six seconds before halftime to give the Cardinals a 17-0 lead. Tinch absorbed a huge hit from WVU safety Mike Lorello.

Best catch: West Virginia wide receiver Dorrell Jalloh caught a two-point conversion pass in the back of the end zone on the Mountaineers’ third drive of overtime to provide the victory margin.

Worst catch: West Virginia’s 6-foot-6 tight end Josh Bailey dropped a third-down pass in the first quarter which not only clanged off his hands, it set the tone for poor passing execution the rest of the half.

Best hit: Mountaineers free safety Jahmile Addae injured his knee and had to leave the game after he busted up a pass attempt from Brian Brohm by slamming into Joshua Tinch in the first half.

Best tackle: Lorello, a 205-pound safety, cut down 250-pound Louisville running back Michael Bush for no gain on third-and-goal from the Mountaineers’ 2-yard line in the second quarter Lorello used his speed to get behind six blockers and prevent a touchdown. Louisville kicked a field goal on the next play.

Turning point: West Virginia didn’t give up despite a minus-1 yard passing in the first half. “I just told our guys, all we need is a spark or two,” Mountaineers coach Rich Rodriguez said. “They nodded their heads, but I don’t know if they believed me or not.”

The clincher: Perry graduate and West Virginia defensive back Eric Wicks tackled Louisville quarterback Brian Brohm two yards short of the goal line to prevent a two-point conversion and end the game.

Best call: West Virginia solved the problem of its stalled passing game by handing the football to freshman running back Steve Slaton late in the game. He ran for five touchdowns and caught a pass for another score and didn’t stop running until he was in the team and stadium record books.

D’oh: West Virginia running back Arlen Dorsey was flagged for a personal foul when he wasn’t even in the game late in the first quarter. He was reacting to quarterback Adam Bednarik’s run out of bounds.

Lotta leg: West Virginia kicker Pat McAfee (Plum) executed a successful onside pooch kick in the fourth quarter and added two pressure extra-point conversions in overtime.

Check the tape: The Mountaineers’ Thandi Smith recovered an onside kick midway through the fourth quarter after it was ruled Pat McAfee’s kick flew the required 10 yards. The officials picked up the flag.

Big winner: West Virginia, nobody’s preseason favorite to win the Big East, moved to 3-0 and took a major step toward landing the coveted BCS bowl bid that comes with the conference title.

Up next: West Virginia travels to South Florida for a 7 p.m. game Saturday at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. Louisville hosts Cincinnati in a noon game the same day. Both games will be televised on ESPNU.

Categories: News
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